The Open Arms: Providing Vital Support For The Homeless (UPDATED)

Volunteer group provides a wholesome meal and a hot drink and also offers a signposting service for support and advice for those in need.

We love to hear about meaningful volunteer groups around the Isle of Wight, it re-enforces our faith in humanity.

Poster for The Open ArmsThe Open Arms is a volunteer-run drop-in centre based in Ryde which has been set up to help the homeless on the Island.

The group provides a wholesome meal and a hot drink and also offers a signposting service for support and advice for those in need.

We understand that they help at least 30 regulars each Sunday evening at the Ryde Methodist Hall in Garfield Rd, between 5-8pm.

Your support needed too
The group couldn’t run without the support of volunteers and the generosity of local businesses with donations of food and services.

They have a new website through which you can made Paypal donations, but if you are able to donate time to the project, please get in touch with the group by emailing

Alternatively you may wish to donate food. If so get get in touch with the catering manager on: 07599 273 048

This is an excellent cause and one well worth supporting.

UPDATE 15:10 Zoe Thompson brought this excellent project to our attention on Facebook (Thank you!). After we posted a link of our story on the VB FB page, Zoe added a comment that gave even more details about the project, so to give you the widest view of this, we’ve added it below.

Hi all. I am directly involved in helping this project. Firstly I want to say thankyou for the support shown.

The project has been going less than a year, has had no support from local authorities, but thankfully the local people have come together and are dedicating themselves to the service.

In terms of Jans comments (Which asked why it wasn’t 7 day -Ed), you are right Jan, ideally a dedicated centre which provides 24/7 care and support, shower facilities and emergency accomodation for those most in need would be an ideal. However with little or no acknowlegement on the island of the problems in this area this is very unlikely to happen.

Support from local community
Times are very tough for everyone at the moment, the price of the most basic food is higher than ever, heating, water bills soring, low unemployment … general doom and gloom. But the project has been delighted in the support the local community has shown to this ‘drop in the ocean’ venture.

I personally would like to think that if I was ever in desperate need I would be able to find someone or somewhere willing to help in some way, and this is exactly why this community project is so valuable.

Can you help?
The Open Arms Project – Ryde is looking to expand the services it can provide, for example opening its doors for breakfast a few mornings a week, being able to donate food packs for those who are struggling to get enough of the basics each week,as well as hot drinks packs for those who due to poor housing situations are likely to be spending the majority of their days outside.

We hope that this might just be the start of much bigger things to come. In the meantime, please do ‘like’ the FB group and I will keep you in touch with what we are doing.

Wednesday, 8th February, 2012 8:19am



Filed under: Community, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Ryde, Isle of Wight, Volunteering

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